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Should Investors Be Happy About Hubbell Incorporated’s (NYSE:HUBB) Cash Levels?

Simply Wall St

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Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB) shareholders, and potential investors, need to understand how much cash the business makes from its core operational activities, as well as how much is invested back into the business. This difference directly flows down to how much the stock is worth. Operating in the industry, HUBB is currently valued at US$6.9b. I will take you through HUBB’s cash flow health and the risk-return concept based on the stock’s cash flow yield, using the most recent financial data. This will help you think about the company from a cash perspective, which is a crucial factor to investing.

View our latest analysis for Hubbell

Is Hubbell generating enough cash?

Hubbell generates cash through its day-to-day business, which needs to be reinvested into the company in order for it to continue operating. What remains after this expenditure, is known as its free cash flow, or FCF, for short.

I will be analysing Hubbell’s FCF by looking at its FCF yield and its operating cash flow growth. The yield will tell us whether the stock is generating enough cash to compensate for the risk investors take on by holding a single stock, which I will compare to the market index. The growth will proxy for sustainability levels of this cash generation.

Free Cash Flow = Operating Cash Flows – Net Capital Expenditure

Free Cash Flow Yield = Free Cash Flow / Enterprise Value

where Enterprise Value = Market Capitalisation + Net Debt

Hubbell’s yield of 5.01% last year indicates its ability to produce cash at the same rate as the market index, taking into account the company’s size. However, given that the risk for holding single-stock Hubbell is higher, this may mean inadequate compensation above and beyond merely investing in the whole market.

NYSE:HUBB Balance Sheet Net Worth, April 9th 2019
NYSE:HUBB Balance Sheet Net Worth, April 9th 2019

What’s the cash flow outlook for Hubbell?

Can HUBB improve its operating cash production in the future? Let’s take a quick look at the cash flow trend the company is expected to deliver over time. Over the next couple years, the company is expected to grow its cash from operations at a double-digit rate of 20%, ramping up from its current levels of US$517m to US$623m in three years’ time. Furthermore, breaking down growth into a year on year basis, HUBB is able to increase its growth rate each year, from 3.0% in the upcoming year, to 7.1% by the end of the third year. The overall picture seems encouraging, should capital expenditure levels maintain at an appropriate level.

Next Steps:

Hubbell’s positive operating cash flow is encouraging, and its yield is relatively similar to the market index. However, if you factor in the higher risk of holding just Hubbell compared to the well-diversified market index, the stock doesn’t seem as appealing. Keep in mind that cash is only one aspect of investment analysis and there are other important fundamentals to assess. I suggest you continue to research Hubbell to get a more holistic view of the company by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is HUBB worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether HUBB is currently mispriced by the market.

  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Hubbell’s board and the CEO’s back ground.

  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: If you believe you should cushion your portfolio with something less risky, scroll through our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.